With 25 cent Increase, Manitoba Minimum Wage Falls Far Short of Living Wage

October 1, 2012

Working Families Manitoba calls on province to do more for the Working Poor

WINNIPEG – Today’s 25 cent/hour increase to the minimum wage is not nearly enough to help Manitoba’s working poor, said Kevin Rebeck, spokesperson for the Working families Manitoba campaign.

“Anyone who works full time deserves to earn a living wage – enough to sustain a decent life,” said Rebeck. “A 25 cent increase in the minimum wage falls far short of what’s needed to bring Manitoba’s working poor to a living wage.”

Manitoba’s minimum wage earners are profiled in Manitoba’s Minimum Wage by the Numbers, a statistical snapshot released today by the Working Families Manitoba campaign. It shows minimum wage earners are not always the stereotypical teenagers and students working for small businesses:
• A majority of minimum wage earners are adults (53%)
• A large percentage of minimum wage earners work full time (43%)
• A majority of minimum wage earners work for big companies with more than 100 employees: (51%)
• 1,200 of Manitoba’s minimum wage earners are single parents
• Women are much more likely to work earn minimum wage than men (6.2% of working women earn minimum wage vs just 4.5% of men).

“When we looked more closely at the numbers we found that women are 38% more likely to earn minimum wage than men are,” said Rebeck. “If we want to close the pay gap between men and women, we need to increase the minimum wage by more than just 25 cents.”

Working Families Manitoba has been calling for a multi-year plan to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We define a living wage as 60% of the average wage in Manitoba. Currently, a living wage would be $12.12/hour. Today’s minimum wage increase brings Manitoba’s minimum wage to just $10.25/hour.

Working Families Manitoba is a community campaign of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, aiming to raise awareness about issues that matter to working families. See the campaign release HERE.

Manitoba’s Minimum Wage by the Numbers

Minimum wage earners don’t live up to stereotypes

• Year in which Manitoba became the first province in Canada to adopt a minimum wage: 1918

• Number of minimum wage earners in Manitoba: 27,700

• Percentage by which women workers are more likely to earn minimum wage in Manitoba: 38

• Percentage of Manitoba minimum wage earners who work for large companies with more than 100 employees: 51
• Percentage of Manitoba minimum wage earners who work for large companies with more than 500 employees: 40

• Percentage of minimum wage earners in Manitoba who are adults: 53
• Percentage of Manitoba minimum wage earners who work full time: 43

• Number of Manitoba single parents who earn minimum wage: 1,200

• Percentage of Manitoba minimum wage earners who don’t live with their parents: 40

Source: Statistics Canada